Water Data Collection Standards

Water data is collected across Australia by many organisations, often to meet the requirements of their own documented procedures and sometimes with reference to Australian or international standards or guidelines.

The Challenge

The variety of methodologies and practices employed in collecting, managing and transferring this data means that it is difficult for other data customers to determine the fitness for purpose of the data and any derived information. The Bureau's role as the national water information provider has highlighted the difficulties in producing national information from data collected in different ways and without reference to agreed or commonly applied standards and guidelines.

National Water Information Standards

Under the Water Act 2007 (section 130, Part 7) the Director of Meteorology has the authority to issue National Water Information Standards by legislative instrument. The Bureau has chosen not to issue mandatory standards under this authority, but is instead working collaboratively with the water industry to develop and promote water information standards and guidelines. Read more about the National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring, the National Industry Guideline for water quality metadata and the Water Accounting Standards 1 and 2 as examples of completed standards and guidelines which contain industry recommended practice, and are promoted for voluntary adoption.

International Standards

The Bureau is strongly involved in developing meteorological standards through the World Meteorological Organization. Through the WIRADA research and development alliance with CSIRO, the Bureau has contributed to the development of WaterML 2.0, an international Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard for water data exchange.

WaterML 2.0 and WDTF are a rendering of the Observations and Measures Model developed under the Open Geospatial Consortium.

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